GCFP falls one run short in bid to retain fastball title

Dan Whiteford went 1-for-2 with a walk, while Marty Steen and Craig Snyder were both 1-for-3.

Just one hit separated the Gord Closson Forest Products Fastball Club and Wheatsheaf in the second game of the Nanaimo Senior Men’s Fastball League championship series in Cedar last Thursday.

Unfortunately for GCFP, the defending champions, that hit was a home run, giving Wheatsheaf a 1-0 victory and a sweep in the best-of-three series.

GCFP had three hits on the evening, and Wheatsheaf had four. All the scoring in the game came on one hit: a leadoff home run in the second inning.

“They played a good game,” GCFP manager Joe DiLalla said. “We played a good game. The wrong team got the home run.”

Dan Whiteford went 1-for-2 with a walk, while Marty Steen and Craig Snyder were both 1-for-3. Snyder also put forth yet another brilliant pitching performance, striking out 10 over six innings while giving up just four hits and the one run.

“It was a good game,” DiLalla said. “We were right there the whole way. We had our chances.”

The Duncan team won eight of 12 games in the regular season, with three losses and one default. They swept past Lantzville Pub in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Wheatsheaf in the final. All in all, DiLalla was pleased with the season.

“We had a couple of new players, a couple of young kids filling in,” he said. “I think we’ll have more young kids next year. Last year was kind of a dream year. We had one of the best pitchers who ever played around here in Korey Garreau.”

That’s not to downplay the performance of Craig Snyder, who pitched every game, and nearly every inning, for GCFP, winning the league MVP award and just missing both the batting title and ERA title.

“Craig did an amazing job all year,” DiLalla said. “He was a workhorse.”

With the season now over, the team will turn its attention to organizing the Gord Closson Old Timers Fall Classic at Waldon Park on Aug. 22 and 23.